Monthly Archives: March 2015

Social Security: Best Ways to Max Out Your Benefit

A ‘Get What’s Yours’ author says claiming as early as you can is ‘crazy’

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue 



You think taxes are complicated? Try figuring out the best time and best way to claim your Social Security benefits.

Laurence J. Kotlikoff, co-author of Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security says: “There are 2,728 rules in Social Security’s handbook and maybe another 500,000 — it’s impossible to count them.”

Hence the instructive 324-page book he just published along with financial writer Phillip Moeller and PBS NewsHour business and economics correspondent Paul Solman, to help people make wise Social Security claiming decisions. read more

Quick Study: The Latest on Vitamin D and Dementia

New research shows a clear link, plus 3 ways to get more D

By Laine Bergeson for Next Avenue 



Older adults who are severely vitamin D deficient have a 122 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, according to a new study published in the journal Neurology.

The research team, lead by Dr. David Llewellyn at the University of Exeter Medical School, anticipated a link between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive problems (previous research has shown a general correlation). But they were surprised by how high the risk was.

“The association was twice as strong as we anticipated,” Llewellyn says. read more

Promising Effort to Curb Elder Financial Abuse

How lawyers will get trained to spot and report potential dangers

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue



Financial abuse of the elderly has been called “the crime of the 21st Century” by Kiplinger’s. And as many as one in 20 older adults in America may be victims, according to a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Can anything be done to prevent this growing disgrace?

Maybe. I’m optimistic about a new effort aimed at getting lawyers to spot and report financial fraud targeting older Americans — scams that have ensnared Mickey Rooney, Brooke Astor and millions of lesser-known people. read more

14 Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities on U.S. News and World Report Best Nursing Homes 2015 list

14 Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities on U.S. News and World Report Best Nursing Homes 2015 listFourteen Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America senior living communities are on the U.S. News and World Report Best Nursing Homes 2015 list. The communities received the highest score of a five-star rating system to make the list, available today at

PMMA locations on the honoree list with five-star ratings are Arkansas City, Clay Center, Emporia, Lawrence, Newton, Olathe (Aberdeen Village), Parsons, Salina, Sterling and Wichita in Kansas, and Farmington, Fulton, Kirkwood (Aberdeen Heights) and Rolla in Missouri. read more

How to Lose 1,000 Square Feet — and Keep It Off

This writer found joy downsizing to a small apartment and offers five tips

By Patricia Corrigan for Next Avenue 



Five years ago, when I sold my 1,700-square-foot condo in St. Louis County, Mo., in preparation for a move to a small apartment in San Francisco, Calif., I knew I had to get rid of at least two-thirds of my stuff. That required touching every single thing I owned.

I sold, donated or gave away everything from a crystal chandelier to a recliner I’d bought six months earlier to a package of powdered onion soup from the pantry. The man who painted my condo prior to the sale bought the pub table and chairs from my kitchen, so I gave him the concrete elephant statue from my deck. I pared down my Christmas decorations from five boxes to one. I found good homes at a university, a prison and a senior center for 46 boxes of books. And once and for all, I got rid of my collections of paper bags, plastic bags and cardboard boxes. read more

65th Anniversary: Missouri gets new campus; Wichita campus is reborn

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America: Celebrating 65 years of the art of life.This month, we conclude our look at the history of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America as we celebrate the organization’s 65th anniversary.

In 2006, SSM Health Care of St. Louis moved its St. Joseph’s Hospital from a site in Kirkwood, Mo. As part of this hospital relocation, SSM Health Care issued a request for proposals to determine what to do with the old hospital campus site. Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s proposal for a continuing care retirement community was selected as the project to be constructed on the old hospital site. read more

Giving a hallmark of PMMA’s history

We often recall the story of Alice Kalb, who at 90 traveled to a 1947 Presbyterian Synod meeting to ask for a retirement community in Kansas.

According to Edwin Shafer, senior vice president of development, what Mrs. Kalb basically told the Synod was: “If I give you all that money I have, will you build a home for the aging?” Her heart-felt offer symbolized the plight of a growing number of elderly in need of the church’s help. Kalb’s initiative led a farmer from Wakarusa, Kan., to bequeath his farm to the new project. The sale of that land provided the funds to buy the building that would be Newton Presbyterian Manor. read more

Building a Network to Look Out for Your Parents

From neighbors to relatives to the pizza delivery woman, it’s critical to have people looking out for a parent who’s aging in place

By Winnie Yu for Next Avenue


Hemera | Thinkstock

If you’re looking out for a parent in declining health who continues to live alone, and who resides more than an hour’s drive away, consider yourself a long-distance caregiver. It’s a hard role to fill alone, but an informal network of eyes and ears can provide crucial aid. These supporters can be neighbors, friends, parishioners, even a mail carrier or the pizza delivery person.

Predictability can make it easier to keep track of a parent’s activities, and to tell quickly if something is wrong, says Carol Bradley Bursack, author of Minding Our Elders (McCleery and Sons, 2005). When you’re on the scene, commit some time to following your parent’s routines and seeing who they interact with daily or weekly. Identify and get to know those people, who could become part of your network. read more